Comic Reviews

Review: Star Trek Celebrations #1

In this review of Star Trek Celebrations #1, readers get a celebration of Pride by celebrating the queerness of Star Trek

 

Star Trek Celebrations #1 main cover by Paulina Ganucheau

Star Trek Celebrations #1
Writer: Various
Artist:  Various
Color Artist:  Various
Cover:  Paulina Ganucheau
Variant Covers: Paulina Ganucheau; Angel Solozano; Kevin Wada
Release Date:  May 29, 2024

 

This Review Contains Spoilers

 

Story #1:  The Knight Errand
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist:  Lauren Knight
Color Artist:  JP Jordan

The location of the Sokyoon Cluster. An away team lead buy Lt Sulu has been captured by the Vatalons. They have been sentenced to death but for the fencing skills of Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, who saves the day. We close with Sul, his partner nursing his wounds with their daughter in their cabin.

 

Analysis

As I will mention again, a long standing queer relationship has been absent up until Star Trek Discovery, which has the first in canon openly gay relationship in Starfleet. To see that Sulu has not only a male partner but a daughter on a Constitution Class Starship is sweet but totally out of canon. There were no families on the Enterprise during Kirk’s first command and the series itself though using plenty of shirtless shots of Sulu, but they also included 

Spock and Kirk in that list as well.

Star Trek in the sixties was before its time and ground breaking in having the first interracial onscreen kiss, they unfortunately did not have a queer storyline even though George Takei was just coming out as homosexual but still in many aspects closeted. “Oh My”.

 

Story #2:  Lady Luck
Writer: Vita Ayala
Artist:  Liana Kangas
Color Artist:  Liana Kangas

 

Presumably after Star Trek Voyager and before Star Trek Picard, a Seven of Nine, not in Starfleet, is the date to Raffi during her Starfleet class reunion. Raffi who is in intelligence and on secret assignments has to continually feign incompetence to her overbearing and judgemental classmates. This time she has her date who is a former Borg Drone as her companion. Seven leaves the party and Raffi sneaks off to enjoy a private kiss with Seven of Nine.

 

Analysis

This is more of a story about being closeted. The character in the closet here is Raffi. She is definitely in a queer relationship with Seven but she is closeted because of her position in the Fleet. How does she navigate that including facing the judgemental derision of her former classmates. Leave it to your lover to provide the reason to escape this party.

 

Story #3:  Facemaker
Writer: Mags Visaggio
Artist:  Tench
Color Artist:  JP Morgan

 

It is 2255 a young Dr Christine Chappel working for Director Phlox is trying to devise a less invasive manner of personnel acquiring the traits of the humanoid alien societies the humans are regularly in contact with. The problem is the Prime Directive in order to allow the natural progression of societies the Fleet personnel have to undergo surgical procedures to make them look like the people they are studying. Chappel, who is under fire, is trying to use the Klingon Augment Virus.

Her partner, a female who is revealed to be trans gender, at least that’s my interpretation shares with Chappel an idea. She has patches that generate estrogen, beast growth and even gamete production. This transformation is not permanent so the two attempt to  replicate this technology using the Transporter. The initial trial proves to be successful for Phlox’s liking.

 

Analysis

The art here is interesting. Chappel is not depicted as the young nurse we meet on the Enterprise. Based on the dialog it is certain that this is before she joins StarFleet but her design is of an older woman and she is called doctor.. One of the effects of the Chappel character that annoyed me the most in the original series was her fawning over Spock. I actually like this relationship better but admittedly, I am biased. 

Roz, the transwoman is a welcome addition to this story, again I do not think it is canon per se but to see a trans character is great and the way she transitioned including the generation of gametes in her body is like a dream come true for trans women.

 

Story #4:  Innovation Interruption
Writer: Stephanie Williams
Artist:  Denny Minonne
Color Artist:  Denny Mononne

 

On board the Discovery, Reno and Stamets meetup in the lounge. Stamets is working on  ancient technology, an iPod.

Later Reno arrives in Engineering, Stamets is introduced to a visiting science team. This team is very young and they demonstrate their self-guided nano-sized spiders. Unfortunately the experiment goes haywire and one of the spiders escapes. In tracking it down they decide to use a projector to lure and capture the spider. With the team leaving, Reno is happy but as an apology, they did repair his iPod.

 

Analysis

This is my least favorite story for a number of reasons. The first is I am not familiar with Star Trek Discovery at all, as far as the different series goes, I am the least knowledgeable about it. It has as I started above has the first in canon queer relationship, that here is a missed opportunity. I see nothing queer about this story. I do not believe these are the queer character as I believe the actor who plays half of the couple is African American and neither member of Discovery’s crew shown here is Black. My question is why is this story here?

 

Story #5:  Risian Rendezvous
Writer: Hannah Rose May
Artist:  Jack Lawrence
Color Artist:  Rebecca Nalty

 

Ensign Mariner’s Risan date with her Andorian girlfriend Jennifer. Unfortunately the date does not go that well until the very end when the two share a sunset kiss on the beach.

 

Analysis

This is the only queer date story in this collection. It is sweet, funny and has avery romantic ending. I cannot comment much because I have not watched Star Trek Lower Decks but the art here matches the art design perfectly. The transition from screen to page is fantastic

 

Overall Thoughts

Each story in Star Trek Celebration #1 has its positives, I  think my favorite could be the Lower Decks story in the end and my least favorite is the Discovery story. I do believe that a lot of the queer relationships have been shoehorned in to make this a Pride celebration. It is fun but there is a lot of retconning going on to make these stories make sense. 

The art other than my design questions in the Chapel story is overall fantastic. The detail in the Chapel art  is fantastic and descriptive, I just am not sure who this Chapel is?

 

Final Thoughts

I will not give this issue high story scores because even though I appreciate the attempt I do not like the execution.

 

IDW Publishing provided The Comic Book Spot with an advanced copy of this comic for review purposes. If you enjoyed this review, you can find more reviews here. If you would like to buy a copy of this title, and help support the Comic Book Spot at the same time, consider purchasing this book digitally at Amazon or physically at Things From Another World.

star trek celebrations #1 featured image
Star Trek Celebrations #1
Story
Art
Colors
3.7
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